Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC) will act as Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH)extension Covid-19 patients’ treatment site after it was handed over to Blantyre District Health office on Friday.
In an interview yesterday Blantyre district director of health and social welfare services Gift Kawalazira confirmed the move, saying QECH is overwhelmed to cope with the pandemic’s second wave surge.
He said with support from MSF, the sports facility, owned by Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS), will create room for 40 more beds for Covid-19 patients.
Kawalazira said: “The handover was done yesterday [Friday] after all stakeholders such as Blantyre City Council, Malawi National Council of Sports, MSF and Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, among others, were informed and inspected the site.
“This place is good because of its proximity to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital as a treatment site outside the hospital. What we need is to have hospital equipment such as ventilators in the hall and mount tents on the ground.”
He urged people to take precautionary preventive measures as the situation is getting out of hand, saying currently Queens has 90 beds for Covid-19 treatment.
On sanitation, he said the facility was functional and they will bring also mobile.
In an interview MNCS acting executive secretary Henry Mereka confirmed that they have temporarily closed BYC to accommodate Covid-19 patients.
He said: “The situation at Queens has been overwhelming and we are trying to protect more patients by creating more spaces in the hall as well as on the ground.
“With the situation, not many associations are using the facility and those who are using will have to wait or look for alternatives.”
The pandemic has not spared the sports fraternity with nine Nyasa Big Bullets players and two officials testing positive for the pandemic while Football Association of Malawi has called for calm after the association’s communication director Gomezgani Zakazaka also tested positive on Wednesday.